The Block

(Cottonwoods // In-camera double exposure // 2019)

Creative block. No. Writer’s block. Not exactly.

I’ve been trying to get back in the swing of things with writing here more but every time I do I’m faced with a “block” of sorts. I couldn’t figure it out as I am in no way short of ideas to write about. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I share thoughts freely almost every day. I don’t really have creative blocks, at least not in the 6 1/2 years I’ve been actively pursuing photography. The block I refer to is more personal I’ve concluded. I’ve simply felt overwhelmed by life, photography, thoughts, emotions and ideas. This has all caused me to essentially freeze up when I sit down to write and elaborate on thoughts.

I’ve felt disorganized and I didn’t know where to even begin. So I’m just going to start writing and expressing thoughts along with images with the hope that I’ll move past this block.

(Arches National Park // Stitched Panorama // 2019)

I’ll begin with some images from a recent visit to Moab, UT from earlier this year. For those unfamiliar with Moab, it’s home to 2 National Parks, Canyonlands and Arches, and surrounded by one of the wildest landscapes in North America. It’s also a VERY busy place with visitors from all over the world who gather there for a variety of reasons. Moab is home to some of the best outdoor recreation activities in Utah and within 4 hours of Salt Lake City. All this means that it gets very busy there, much more than you can imagine.

The landscape also attracts photographers from around the world who want to capture the iconic features in these National Parks. Many of these locations are so popular that hordes of photographers often crowd locations just to “get the shot”. Mesa Arch is one such location and a quick Google search shows what a typical morning looks like there. The same for Delicate Arch.

I don’t know about you but these types of situations are something I steer clear of. It makes me also wonder if there are ever times anymore where these iconic locations aren’t crowded. I certainly understand that people have limited time when on vacation so they visit these locations when they can. I too was only there for a few days, just like everyone else, and hadn’t been to Arches NP in over 10 years. I just don’t believe that landscape photography has to be limited to sunrise and sunset, no matter the location. I prefer to think for myself about the other times to experience and photograph a landscape, when people aren’t around. I’ll come back to this topic in an upcoming post.

I’ll keep this post relatively short and say that despite the crowds, Moab and Arches National Park are an incredible place to explore and photograph. I feel a little ashamed of myself for intentionally avoiding these places due to the crowds as I know myself better than this. There’s always something to discover and to create images of, no matter the location, and I can’t wait to visit this place again. And again.

Thanks for reading, EE.

4 thoughts on “The Block

  1. Rest assured your not the only one who has for lack of other words love/hate relationships with National Parks you have visited for long periods. The Parks are indeed more crowded and that does make the experience different. Thinking about it, writing about it and even pondering it does wear a person out and cause a malaise I have felt. Getting out into them is still a wonderful experience and always provides a good experience it’s just the entropy factor to get out there is much bigger or so it seems. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Eric, yes the parks are indeed big places and when I find I seek out the small places in those big parks they are mostly quiet and full of photo opportunities and discoveries.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I also avoid some places because of crowds. For me, it is difficult to deal with this due to my lonely/introverted personality. With time, I’ve managed to adapt to it a bit (just a bit) and find creative ways to avoid crowds (go in hours/seasons people would not usually prefer to go, use different tracks/paths, or simply visit other locations within a popular place).

    Regarding the ideas to write about and feeling overwhelmed about it, it has happened to me too. And to my personal flavour, that is something way easier to overcome as opposed to avoiding crows. And you are right: you started already! It’s a good sign. And remember the famous acronym: JSAW (just sit and write…kidding…I just made that up..if it exists, then I just got lucky). Best!


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